(A) Have the forensic sciences board look into the allegations?Now, let's assume that the state board chose Option B and that now you're one of the higher-ups at ASLD. When the complaint is referred to your office, do you:
(B) Have the ASLD look into the allegations that the lab they "certified" is not quite up to snuff? or
(C) Book a tee time.
(A) Send out an audit team to conduct an inspection of the facility?Stay with me here. Now let's say you've decided the complaint was without merit. You need to create a paper trail that shows you did something with the complaint. Do you:
(B) Interview the person making the complaint?
(C) Pick up the phone and call up the head of the lab and ask him some questions? or
(D) Get a bunch of dollar bills and head over to the nearest strip club for lunch?
(A) Release the report to the public?Of course we all know the answers to the questions. This is a lab that runs a whole bunch of tests for the benefit of prosecutors and we certainly don't want to do anything that's going to cause the prosecutors any problems. We certainly can't expect them to conclude that the lab wasn't operating properly and that the results of any tests might be compromised, can we?
(B) Quietly release the report to the forensics board? or
(C) Worry about the report after a trip across the Red River to a casino in Oklahoma?
ASLD took over 13 months to complete their "investigation." Their investigation consisted of telephone interviews with managers at SWIFS (Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences) in Dallas. Not once did anyone from ASLD contact the individual who made the complaint.
After ASLD's report was issued, it took the Texas Forensic Sciences Commission another 13 months to forward the findings to the individual who made the complaint. As a result of the "investigation" by the body who had accredited the lab two years prior to the complaint, the TFSC found the complaint to be groundless.
In addition, according to my anonymous source, two members of the TFSC paid ASLD/LAB for accreditation of the labs they operated - Nizam Peerwani and Sarah Kerrigan.
Dr. Peerwani is the chief medical examiner for Tarrant, Denton, Johnson and Parker Counties. Dr. Kerrigan is the director of the Sam Houston Regional Crime Lab in The Woodlands. In addition, Dr. Peerwani has entered into financial contracts for forensic services from SWIFS, as has Arthur Eisenberg of the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Now I'm not accusing anyone of a conflict of interest in this matter - but there is, at least, the appearance that something might not be on the up-and-up when members of the state forensics board have outside business dealings with the organization that accredits and investigates crime lab facilities in Texas. It raises a few more eyebrows when at least two members of the board have financial dealings with the lab being investigated.
Dallas SWIFS Investigative Report - Wyckoff-1-2